A 14-year-old pregnant girl has for the second time been nabbed for allegedly being over the breath- alcohol limit while driving.
And she was briefly on the run from police and Child Youth and Family officials after fleeing from custody on Saturday night.
The Whangarei girl, who is four months' pregnant, was allegedly nearly six times over the limit when police pulled her over because she was driving erratically in Kamo Rd last week.
After she gave a false name and had trouble spelling it she was taken to the Whangarei police station, where she recorded a breath alcohol level of 828mcg.
The legal limit for drivers under 20 is 150mcg and driving licences are not issued to people under 15.
Police said they again found the girl behind the wheel of a car in Kamo Rd at 9.15pm on Saturday and this time she allegedly recorded a breath alcohol level of 766mcg - more than five times the legal limit for young drivers.
She had been referred to the police Youth Aid section last week and on Saturday she was placed in Child Youth and Family custody.
Whangarei police Acting Sergeant Mike Greenwood said CYF officials left Whangarei at 11.30pm on Saturday to take the girl to a Ministry of Social Development home in Auckland.
"When they got to Portland, she said she was feeling sick. When they stopped the car she opened the door and took off."
The CYF officials had been unable to find the girl in the dark and she was reported as a runaway at 11.45pm.
Whangarei-Kaipara police area commander Inspector Paul Dimery said the girl had been found when she turned up at her home early yesterday.
He said police would be working with CYF to make sure she and her baby were safe.
Mr Dimery declined to comment further on the girl as her "shocking" case was "part of an issue that's bigger than the individual and not unique to Northland".
There was a huge problem with alcohol nationally and it was very obvious to police that since the legal drinking age had been lowered to 18 more teenagers were drinking, he said.
Mr Dimery said the increase in teenage drinking was contributing hugely to violence, criminal behaviour and road deaths.
- NORTHERN ADVOCATE